Five Augustana Students Earn 2021 South Dakota Space Grant Consortium Scholarships

Augustana University is proud to announce that five students have been named 2021 South Dakota Space Grant Consortium (SDSGC) Fellowship/Scholarship Program award winners. Out of the 45 SDSGC program applicants, all five of the Augustana students who applied received awards.

“We’re extremely proud of the determination and drive demonstrated by these students. These are very well-deserved awards. They recognize the importance of the SDSGC in providing young people with opportunities that prepare them to think critically and creatively so they can become future educators, researchers and leaders that solve the most pressing local and global challenges. Holistic, multi-dimensional learning approaches like STEM are essential to the development of the nation’s workforce and can help prepare the next generation of innovators,” Professor of Physics and Associate Director of the SDSGC Dr. Drew Alton said.

The SDSGC Program is one of 52 state‐based consortia authorized by Congress and supported by NASA’s Office of Education with the goal of maintaining the nation’s leadership in aeronautics and space exploration. Established in 1991, the vision of the SDSGC is to expand opportunities for all South Dakotans through education, research and public service in the fields of aerospace, earth science and supporting disciplines in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As the link between NASA and the citizens of South Dakota, SDSGC's mission is to instill the spirit of exploration and discovery in students and educators and in the general public, with a special focus on the fields of STEM that are essential for the development of the nation’s workforce. 

According to the SDSGC website, the program offers hands-on, tangible research experiences to student fellowship awardees at NASA Centers, EROS and other industries which develop skills that will contribute to the future workforce. All students who receive significant fellowship or scholarship assistance from SD Space Grant will be longitudinally tracked through first employment or beginning of advanced degrees.

The winners of the 2021 SDSGC Fellowship/Scholarship Program include:

  • Mariah Haight ‘22, of Wausau, Wisconsin — Biochemistry (ACS) Major 
  • Harrison Kuhn ‘22, of Owatonna, Minnesota — Biochemistry (ACS) Major, Mathematics Minor 
  • Luke Matzner ‘22, of Sioux Falls — Physics Major, Mathematics Minor
  • Haley McMahon ‘21, of Douglas, Wyoming — Biochemistry (ACS) Major, English Minor 
  • Tiana Townsend ‘21, of Sioux Falls — Chemistry (ACS) and Physics Major, Mathematics Minor 






Over the last 15 years, more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students at 10 public, private and tribal colleges in South Dakota received more than $2.4 million in scholarships and has led to more than 100 internships in aerospace industries and NASA Centers.

The 2020 SDSGC Program Award Winners include the following Augustana students:

  • Sam Brown ‘21, of Jackson, Wyoming — Chemistry (ACS) and Mathematics Major, Physics Minor 
  • Grace Feterl ‘21, of Plymouth, Minnesota — Mathematics and Secondary Education Major, Spanish Minor 
  • Mariah Haight ‘22, of Wausau, Wisconsin — Biochemistry (ACS) Major 
  • MaKenna Koble ‘21, of Vermillion, South Dakota — Chemistry (ACS) Major, Mathematics and Physics Minor 
  • Caitlyn Larson ‘20, of Rapid City, South Dakota — Chemistry and Secondary Education Major, Physics and Sign Language Studies Minor 
  • Josh Morin-Baxter ‘21, of Rapid City, South Dakota — Physics and Dual Degree Engineering Major, Spanish and Mathematics Minor 
  • Austin Olson ‘21, of Vermillion, South Dakota — Physics and Mathematics Major
  • Eleanor Ronning ‘21, of Minneapolis, Minnesota — Biochemistry (ACS) and Physics Major

Program Questions: Contact Dr. Drew Alton, professor of physics and associate director of the SDSGC.

Media Inquiries: Contact Jill Wilson, public relations and communications strategist.